Advanced Non‐Squamous Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer
Are ‘lung cancer’ and ‘non-small cell lung cancer’ basically one and the same? Are all lung cancers treated alike?
Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is a sub-type of lung cancer and it accounts for (more prevalent) 80-85% of all lung cancers. All lung cancers are not treated alike. To know more, click here. Treatment plan for every case of lung cancer varies depending on the stage of the disease, patient’s medical history and results of a host of examinations on general health. To know more on available treatment options, click here.
Has it been proven fact that smoking can cause lung cancer? Does that mean non-smokers will not get lung cancer?
Tobacco smoking, whether active or passive, is by far one of the leading causes of lung cancer incidence. About 80% of smoking-attributable cancer deaths involve lung cancer2. Secondhand tobacco smoke exposure3 also poses significant risk with higher risk at a younger age of exposure. Smoking, for sure, increases the risk, but, this does not mean that non-smokers will not get lung cancer. To know more on major risk factors of lung cancer, click here.
What are the most common symptoms of lung cancer?
The most common symptoms of lung cancer are: Persistent cough that gets worse with time, blood or rust-coloured sputum, chest pain that gets worse with deep breathing, coughing and laughing, hoarseness, loss of weight and appetite, frequent shortness of breath, fatigue and weakness, infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia that don’t go away or keep coming back and new onset of wheezing. Sometimes ‘paraneoplastic syndromes’ can be one of the first symptoms of lung cancer, which often go unnoticed. To know more, click here.
I recently took a chest X-ray which does not show any signs of tumour. Does that mean I do not have cancer?
Unfortunately, no. A negative chest X-ray is not indicative of absence of lung cancer. Besides, chest X-ray is not an accepted lung cancer diagnostic method. There are several other diagnostic means available, which includes bronchoscopy and phlegm biopsy. To know more, click here.
Can I breathe as before after a portion of my lungs is removed?
Although some breathlessness is normal after surgery, its extent will depend on the condition of one’s lungs before surgery, and on the amount of lung portion removed. But this will get better after some rest and one will be able to breathe normally.
Also, shortness of breath may be experienced more if there is a history of other respiratory disease such as emphysema or chronic bronchitis. With time, the remaining portion of the lung usually adapts and breathing should improve. To read more on how to further help cope with lung cancer and treatment, click here.